Minimum Effective Concentration of Bupivacaine in Ultrasound-Guided Femoral Nerve Block after Arthroscopic Knee Meniscectomy: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial

painphysicianAuthors: Moura ECR, Honda CAO, Bringel RCT, Leal PC, Lopes Filho GJ, Sakata RS

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adequate analgesia is important for early hospital discharge after meniscectomy. A femoral nerve block may reduce the need for systemic analgesics, with fewer side effects; however, motor block can occur. Ultrasound-guided femoral nerve block may reduce the required local anesthetic concentration, preventing motor block.

OBJECTIVE:

The primary objective of this study was to determine the lowest effective analgesic concentration of bupivacaine in 50% (EC50) and in 90% (EC90) of patients for a successful ultrasound-guided femoral nerve block in arthroscopic knee meniscectomy.

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a prospective, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial.

SETTINGS:

This study was conducted at Hospital São Domingos.

METHODS:

A total of 52 patients undergoing arthroscopic knee meniscectomy were submitted to ultrasound-guided femoral nerve block using 22 mL bupivacaine. The bupivacaine concentration given to a study patient was determined by the response of the previous patient (a biased-coin design up-down sequential method). If the previous patient had a negative response, the bupivacaine concentration was increased by 0.05% for the next case. If the previous patient had a positive response, the next patient was randomized to receive the same bupivacaine concentration (with a probability of 0.89) or to have a decrease by 0.05% (with a probability of 0.11). A successful block was defined by a numerical pain intensity scale score < 4 (0 = no pain; 10 = worst imaginable pain) in 3 different evaluations. If the pain intensity score was = 4 (moderate or severe pain) at any time, the block was considered failed. General anesthesia was induced with 30 µg/kg alfentanil and 2 mg/kg propofol, followed by propofol maintanance, plus remifentanil if needed. Postoperative analgesia supplementation was performed with dipyrone; ketoprofen and tramadol were given if needed.

DATA MEASUREMENTS:

The following parameters were evaluated: numerical pain intensity score, duration of analgesia, supplementary analgesic dose in 24 hours, and need for intraoperative remifentanil.

RESULTS:

The EC50 was 0.160 (95% CI: 0.150 - 0.189), and EC90 was 0.271 (95% CI: 0.196 - 0.300). There was no difference in numerical pain intensity score for the different concentrations of bupivacaine. A successful block was achieved in 45 patients, with no difference according to bupivacaine concentration. Time to first analgesic supplementation dose was longer for bupivacaine concentrations = 0.3% (543.8 ± 283.8 min.), compared to 0.25% (391.3 ± 177.8 min.) and < 0.25% (302.3 ± 210.1 min.). There were no differences in supplementary analgesic dose in 24 hours nor in the use of intraoperative remifentanil according to bupivacaine concentration.

LIMITATIONS:

The analgesic effect was measured only during the first 2 hours.

CONCLUSIONS:

Bupivacaine EC50 for ultrasound-guided femoral nerve block was 0.160 (95% CI: 0.150 - 0.189), and EC90 was 0.271 (95% CI: 0.196 - 0.300).

PMID: 26752495

 

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